In order to get the most out of meditation you need to be consistent. But, what should you do when you are sick? If you have a light cold you may be able to continue with your normal meditation practice. In the case of more severe illnesses, where you may be unable to even sit up straight, meditation can be much more challenging. Below, you can learn how to adapt your meditation so that you can continue to meditate even while you are sick.
Why Meditation Is Critical During Cold And Flu Season
Meditating whilst sick may create new challenges. But, it is important that you continue to practice meditation in order to build a healthy and resilient body. Meditating can help to ward off colds and flu’s and lessen their impact when you are already sick. According to a study reported in the “Annals of Family Medicine” people who meditate are less likely to get sick even compared to those who engage in regular exercise.
In the study 150 participant were divided into three different groups. One of the groups was taught mindful meditation, another was told to either engage in brisk walking or jogging while being supervised by a trainer, and the third group engaged neither activities. The health of the participants was being monitored during the flu season which lasts from September through to May.
Those participants who regularly practiced Michael meditation missed 76% fewer days from their work than those who practiced either mindful meditation or exercise. Those who regularly exercised missed 48% fewer days, which was still less than mindful meditation group. The results of the study showed that not only did meditation help to prevent illness, it also reduced the length of colds of people who felt sick
How To Meditate When Sick
Step One – Make Yourself Comfortable
Normally when you meditate you may sit up straight or assume a specific meditation pose. But, while sick you should concentrate on making yourself as comfortable as possible. If necessary lie down with your head propped up by pillows. Make sure that you have anything that you need nearby, such as a box of tissues all or a glass of water, to keep yourself comfortable during meditation.
Step Two – Adapting Your Breathing
One of the main challenges of meditating when you are sick is your breathing. Breathing through your nose can be very difficult when you are congested. Recognise that the fact that your nose is blocked up is completely natural and part of the process of making your body repair itself. Allow your breath to flow naturally and don’t concern yourself that you may not be breathing through the nose. As with normal meditation practice simply focus your attention on your breathing as it is now. If necessary continue to bring through your mouth.
One way to improve this part of the meditation is to use what are called “Healing Breaths”. With this technique you imagine that the air that you are breathing in is repairing your body. The air are you breathe out is the unhealthy energy which is causing your body to be ill. Imagine your breath as colours, with the healthy air being given a bright vibrant colour and the unhealthy air a darker more murky shade.
Step Three – Find The Discomfort Or Pain
Next you want to focus your attention where you are suffering discomfort or pain. This might be a blocked nose, a headache or a pain in your sides. As you focus on the pain try and remove your reaction to it from the experience. Allow the emotional reactions you have to your pain to float away. The idea is to not associate the pain with an integral part of you, but rather something that is happening as part of the healing process. When you experience other pain in your body allow yourself to shift your focus their and become aware of it.
Meditating when you are sick can be frustrating. But, you should also recognize that this is an opportunity to meditate as often and as frequently as you like, without the distractions of work and other obligations. The key is to adapt your meditation to illness and realize that the challenges you facing are simply the way of the body preparing itself. Meditation is an opportunity to allow you to observe the sickness that exists in your body and maintain a space in that observation. This space of observation can remain untouched by sickness, even while the rest of your body is ill.
– Self Help Robot